Jari-Matti Latvala has been forced to withdraw from Philips Rally Argentina later this month after breaking his left collarbone during a training fall.
Latvala was cross-country skiing in Lapland in the north of his native Finland on Wednesday when he slipped and landed heavily on his left shoulder.
He underwent surgery yesterday to have seven metal screws inserted into his shoulder to enable the healing process to begin.
A spokesperson for the Ford World Rally Team confirmed that Latvala won’t be able to compete in Argentina and that a replacement is currently being finalised.
“Cross-country skiing is part of his regular training programme and he’s a good and accomplished skier,” said a Ford spokesperson. “Unfortunately he suffered a heavy fall and has been withdrawn from Rally Argentina to give himself the best possible opportunity to be fit for the Acropolis Rally at the end of May.”
Ford is due to announce Latvala’s replacement shortly.
On the bright side, This could be a good opportunity for a young driver in WRC. Ford will be looking for someone who can deliver much needed manufacture points. Possible replacements could come from within M-Sport, such as Novikov, Tanak, Henning Solberg, Mada Ostberg. If Henning took the replacement, it would make for a Brother- Solberg line up, although Tanak would seem the Likely choice and was heavily rumoured to take a place in the works team at the beginning of the year. Other possible replacement could come from Ex-Subaru WRC driver Chris Atkinson, who only recently entered a WRC event with the Monster team, Atkinson has performed very well in the past in Argentina and finished a career best 2nd place back in 2008.